Sen Joe Manchin, D-WVa, repeated his support Thursday to keep Social Security and Medicare intact amid worries about its long term solvency but said there might be a “better program” to consider for future beneficiaries.
The West Virginia Democrat — and key Senate swing vote — indicated his opposition to Social Security and Medicare cuts. But in an interview on FOX News on Thursday, he also didn’t close the door on a finding a different way to help future beneficiaries.
GOP critics of Manchin, who is up for reelection in 2024, seized on the statement as evidence he wants cuts. But the senator’s office tried to quash that line of attack by saying Manchin continues to oppose cuts to present and future beneficiaries.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly declared reductions to either program are not on the table amid the looming debt ceiling deadline.
The West Virginia Democrat — and key Senate swing vote — indicated his openness to Social Security and Medicare cuts Thursday even as President Joe Biden has repeatedly declared reductions to either program are not on the table amid the looming debt ceiling deadline.
Sign up for this newsletter: Get OnPolitics in your inbox
What did Manchin say?
Manchin made it clear that he's not willing to cut benefits for the millions of Americans currently dependent on the entitlement programs. But he questioned whether there was a smarter, more affordable way to ensure retirement funds for younger Americans.
"I just think: 'Is there a better program? Is there a better way younger people can invest and have something for retirement?' Manchin said on FOX Business Thursday. "You have to look at everything. How do you sustain what you have?"
Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon told USA TODAY that "Manchin’s record on protecting Medicare and Social Security is crystal clear and he reiterated his continued support for both programs when speaking to Neil Cavuto today."
Runyon added, "This quote taken completely out of context is a desperate attempt to muddy the waters but West Virginians know that nobody has fought harder to protect their benefits than Joe Manchin.”
Debt limit negotiations: Social Security, Medicare spared in debt limit. Will it be enough to save them?
Why does it matter?
Party leaders on both sides of the aisle have vowed not to touch the two entitlement programs after Biden publicly boxed Republicans into a corner on Social Security and Medicare as they have called for spending cuts amid debt ceiling negotiations as the deadline quickly approaches.
Currently, the trust funds of both programs face shortfalls as the number of retired Americans have vastly outpaced the programs' dedicated tax revenue to fund its promised benefits — threatening the future of each program. Doing nothing could ensure its downfall, analysts contend.
Social Security is projected to be insolvent in about a decade. Without any legislative action, benefits would automatically be cut by 23% on average by 2033, according to the Congressional Budget Office's December 2022 report on the program.
Hunter Biden, COVID-19: Why are House Republicans focusing on Twitter, other social media firms?
Joe Biden boxes Republicans into a corner on Social Security, Medicare with an eye on 2024
Mike Pence: Changes to Social Security, Medicare should ‘be on the table’ long-term
Social Security, Medicare spared in debt limit negotiations. Will it be enough to save them?
How Medicare and Social Security benefits factor into the Kevin McCarthy debt ceiling fight
Countdown to 2024: These candidates have already announced Senate plans for next election
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Better Social Security, Medicare options may be available, Manchin says
Source: Read Full Article